The Quiet... The Awful Quiet

Life has been insane. Work has me piled up with clients, school has me piled up with coursework, and then there’s this. My love, left so lonely.

Fortunately, it’s not been abandoned. Navigator: Belying Pacific, the first episode in the Navigator series, is almost done. To clarify, the first draft is almost done. It needs a lot of work, which has been interesting for my writing group. Characters disappear between critique sessions, new events are described that had never been referred to before, and anyone who misses one session gets lost in the next. Needless to say, the second draft will be more coherent.

I see a third draft ahead of me, assuming it’s final. This is one of the unfortunate truths of taking on a project like this; completing it has become significantly harder than I suspected. I thought I’d be done by October, but we’re plowing through September and the first draft is still incomplete. And the middle…I don’t even want to talk about the middle. It’s hollow in places, character development appears at odd places, and the story is disastrously predictable.

Of course, it’d difficult to make a story based on an old form predictable, but my group has been great at giving me some options. Not only that, they’ve educated me regarding the very crux of the form I’ve been trying to replicate and how I’ve deviated from it in detrimental ways.

I love my writing group for what they’ve done to my story. They challenge me consistently and make me a better writer every week. I hope that I’m able to meet their high standards so that I can get Navigator: Belying Pacific out by the end of the year. In the meantime, we’re still accepting submissions for Beyond the Nightlight, so if you’ve got childhood fears give it a shot.

There’s also Rocket Ride, for the male-on-male, sci-fi eroticist in you.

Murder and Deadlines

A Murder of Storytellers now has a new site, and has officially become a publishing company. We never really expected that to happen, but it’s pretty amazing news. Consequently, all we “Murderers” have become editors. Our first open submission anthology is called Beyond the Nightlight, a collection of prose works focused on childlike and child-related terrors. We’ve already received some great submissions, but we hope to receive more, so if you’re a writer, get to submitting. We want to see your work.

One of the joys of editing is getting to see work before it’s published. I’m currently reading a novel that we hope to publish by next year. I won’t say anymore about that because it’s a secret. Also, it’s not my work, and I’d need permission from the author to talk about it. And we haven’t worked out a contract yet. You know, all the little things.

Navigator is going slowly but surely. Class and an exceptional amount of work is keeping me quite busy. But my new boss has given me a deadline for the first episode of the series, Belying Pacific. I hope it comes out by October of this year, and my goal is to publish a new episode once every three months. My novel, Phyrric, may have to wait until I’m done with school and under supervision for my licensure as a professional counselor.

Finally, I made it to 31. Now I’m really and truly in my thirties. It’s time to get moving on these writing goals. Time’s a wastin’.

Beyond the Nightlight Call for Submissions

Passing on the good news:

We had so much fun putting together Happy Days, Sweetheart, we’ve decided to do it again. But this time, we’re opening up submissions to everyone. We’ve got the awesome Purps Percival working on a cover for us and a release date set for late this year. Check out the guidelines, get writing, and get submitting! Oh, and tell all your friends. We want your souls. I mean stories.

Four Pieces

I finished “In the Queue” earlier this week, and I’ve discovered that I’m wonderful at beginnings but not so good at endings. The two reviews I’ve gotten about the ending of my story are a little discouraging. I am looking forward to seeing a little bit of what others have to say, however. Initially, I thought I’d take the first part of the criticism and work on the story further. The problem is that the criticism seems severe enough that I’m concerned “In the Queue” is going to need a lot more work than I initially suspected.

Editing is the hardest part of writing. I’m convinced of this. It’s the major reason why Phyrric is nowhere near being done, and it’s the reason the May 1st deadline freaks me out. I’m doing my best, but I can already tell that my planning skills will have to significantly improve if I’m ever to be worthy of calling myself a published author.

I hope that, one day, I’ll look back on these posts and smile. For now, I’ll just be terrified.

Oh, Happy Days

My group continues to work towards making Happy Days a reality. My fellow writers’ submissions are trickling in, and it looks like we may, in fact, make our May first deadline. And, happily, I’ve been able to submit two stories I’d been working on a while: “The End of Callum Raynes” and “Bloody Lizzie.” The latter piece is splatterpunk and, therefore, so uncomfortable to read that at least one of our group members has bowed out. “Fireflies” and “In the Queue” are still getting their final tweaks, but they’ll be in by next week. I’m beginning to feel a little more accomplished, and a lot of this has to do with the approaching deadline.

The lack of deadlines makes it very difficult to give one a sense of accountability. The fact that Adrean said, “We’re not changing the deadline,” really made it clear that this wasn’t a game. Work is work, even when it’s fun. I’m one of those extremely fortunate people who absolutely loves the field in which he works. My “day job” isn’t just a day job. It’s the first rung in dream that I’ve worked very hard towards. But it’s unmistakable as work because I have responsibilities, others depend on me, and I have expectations to meet. That’s the difference between work and hobby. You can engage in a hobby whenever you want and put it down for however long you want with little to no consequences. Work can and should be the fun that you have in doing something that others depend on and that neglecting can lead to negative consequences for one or more people. I can thrive in that kind of environment.